After a one year hiatus, the Grambling Lady Tigers are back in the SWAC tournament. Being back in the tournament, is a tribute of the job that first year head coach Donnita Drain has done.
Even though the team was 8-19 this season, last year they were 2-26, not very competitive and irrelevant; however, this year that has been far from the point.
Even though the record does not say a lot, the effort and the hard work shows how far this team has come.
Even though they were 8-19, a lot of people did not even expect that. Drain and her assistant coaches have stuck with their plan and it seems to be working.
Drain has taken the first steps to rebuilding this program. She has instilled discipline and hard work into her players and it has paid off. All of her players are hardworking, they have discipline and they are willing to learn.
One of the major areas the team has improved in is being competitive. In their 19 losses, 11 of those loses were by ten points or fewer, compared to last year where they lost 18 of their 25 games by double digits.
A lot of the Lady Tigers games came down to the last minute of the last play which was something you did not see last year. Last year’s team the game was often over by halftime.
Another aspect that Drain can be proud about is taking a formidable opponent. When people play Grambling they come with their best game plan.
Coach has a young team that has a lot of talent, but they are consistent on the court. Rochelle Dobbins is a young talented player and if she continues to improve, she will be a better player once she leaves. Whitney Brown is also a young player and if she improves she will also excel.
Coach Drain has done a good job but if she wants to have an elite program she must go out and recruit size because even though they play hard, they need a player with size that can help them.
This year, there were times when things looked up for the team and other times the pressure got the best of them. Staying consistent and competitive the whole game is the only way they’ll become a dominant team.
When you look at this team at this point, they do not have a stand out player. They must find a go-to player.
Another thing they have to do is push the whole game. 11 of the games they could have won, but they did not finish down to the stretch. I know that comes with youth and experience but as the players gain more basketball intelligence and experience, they will get better.
Coach Drain at this time last year was 32-2 at Langston but turning this team into an 8-19 ball club is an accomplishment in itself.
If Drain continues to improve, she will have this program back to the way it was back in the 1990s.
Coach Drain has showed that she has the program going in the right direction.